'Enchanted Princess' Delivered
(PRESS RELEASE)_SANTA CLARITA, Calif., (September 30, 2020) – The newly completed Enchanted Princess was delivered to Princess Cruises today in an official handover ceremony presented via live streaming video from the Fincantieri Shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy. With the arrival of this 145,000-ton, 3,660-guest ship, Enchanted Princess expands the Princess Cruises global fleet of MedallionClass™ vessels.
The ceremony was virtually attended by executives from Carnival Corporation & plc including Micky Arison, Chairman of the Board of Carnival Corporation; Arnold Donald, President and CEO of Carnival Corporation; Stein Kruse, Group CEO of Princess Cruises, Holland America Line, Seabourn, Carnival Australia and Carnival UK; and Jan Swartz Group President of Princess Cruises and Carnival Australia. Fincantieri was represented by CEO Giuseppe Bono.
Enchanted Princess is the 100th cruise ship built by Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri. This milestone is significant for both companies since Crown Princess was the first ship to launch Fincantieri into the modern passenger ship building business, when it was delivered in 1990. The finalization of Enchanted Princess also marks the first ship to be completed during the time of COVID. In fact, Fincantieri was one of the first businesses to reopen in Italy, helping to energize the economy, while operating in new and innovative ways to ensure a safe and productive work environment.
Atlas First to Offer Return Insurance
(PRESS RELEASE)_FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA., Sept. 23, 2020 – A first for the cruise industry, Atlas Ocean Voyages today announced that the luxury-expedition cruise brand will include emergency evacuation and return-to-home insurance for all guests, in keeping with its All Inclusive All the Way experience. Seasoned, fun-seeking and like-spirited travelers can travel with greater peace of mind on future luxury adventures aboard World Navigator, Atlas’ new, safe and small expedition ship, launching in July 2021. The insurance covers emergency medical transportation from the ship to a local treatment center, as well as return transportation to home or a medical facility close to home, as required.
“Because safety and the health of our guests is our top priority, we are proud to be the first cruise brand to include emergency medical evacuation and return-to-home insurance as part of every booking,” said Alberto Aliberti, President of Atlas Ocean Voyages. “With this first-ever included insurance coverage, our guests can enjoy peace of mind when sailing our captivating destinations and know that we take care of every detail, as part of our All Inclusive All the Way experience.”
Royal Updates Summer Cruises
(PRESS RELEASE)_MIAMI, Sept. 23, 2020 – Royal Caribbean International today provides an update to its 2021 summer cruises, announcing upcoming changes in itineraries and homeports. Tapping market research and valuable feedback from guests and travel partners, the cruise line has adjusted its schedule with the goal of providing guests with greater variety for their 2021 adventures.
Highlights of the updated summer cruises for 2021 include new 4- and 5-night Mediterranean getaways from Barcelona, and more island time in the Caribbean with ships sailing from additional, popular U.S. cruise ports next summer including Tampa, Fla. and San Juan, Puerto Rico.
The new itineraries combined with Royal Caribbean ships and crew will deliver the signature vacation experience that guests know and love. Most importantly, the global cruise line is applying the best available public health, science and engineering insights to deliver a safer and healthier cruise vacation.
Guests with confirmed bookings between April and November 2021 and whose cruises are affected by these changes are being notified directly. These existing bookings are covered by Royal Caribbean’s Cruise with Confidence program.
New Itineraries and Homeports
Royal Caribbean’s other summer 2021 cruises will sail on as planned in the Caribbean, Alaska, Europe and Asia-Pacific. Visiting more than 200 destinations in over 50 countries with 27 ships in 2021-22, the cruise line’s summer 2021 highlights span the globe.
In Europe, new ship Odyssey of the Seas will join Anthem and Harmony of the Seas and make its debut in Rome to kick off its inaugural Europe season. Over in Alaska, the region will see the cruise line’s biggest season yet with four ships, including newcomer Quantum of the Seas. The warmer temps in the Caribbean bring travelers variety in itineraries, destinations and ships with newly amplified favorites like Mariner and Navigator of the Seas sailing 3-night weekend and 4-night weekday itineraries to The Bahamas and Perfect Day at CocoCay, and Oasis of the Seas cruising from the New York area for the first time. In Asia, guests can sail aboard the region’s newest ship, Spectrum of the Seas, offering 4- and 5-night sailings from Shanghai and visiting Japan.
Royal Caribbean’s full list of 2021 summer cruises can be found here.
American Queen Debuts 'Countess' Photos
(PRESS RELEASE)_American Queen Steamboat Company (AQSC), a leader in U.S. river cruising, is thrilled to debut photography of its fourth vessel, the American Countess. As the newest paddlewheeler on U.S. rivers, the American Countess will offer many of the same exciting heartland and deep South itineraries as her sister ships, the American Queen and American Duchess.
The American Countess inaugural voyage is anticipated in the first quarter of 2021 and will feature six- to 15-day itineraries, including her very own “Mighty Mississippi” cruise. Guests will finally be able to enjoy the vessel’s four decks including a dedicated Sun Deck, comfortable and inviting staterooms in four categories that feature a sleek, modern design.
The unveiling of the American Countess will precede the highly anticipated Ocean Victory, the seventh ship by American Queen Steamboat Company, which owns and operates Victory Cruise Lines (VCL). The Ocean Victory will invite guests to explore the breathtaking scenery and wildlife of Alaska and British Columbia on expert led excursions and small-ship, scenic cruising in Spring 2021.
(PRESS RELEASE)_MIAMI, September 23, 2020 - Atriums have been an important part of cruise ship design for decades but leave it to Carnival Cruise Line to break the mold with Grand Central, a transformational three-deck-high space that is one of six themed zones on Mardi Gras, set to debut in February.
A unique twist on the traditional atrium, Grand Central spans Decks 6, 7 and 8 with massive 3,000-square-foot glass panels built into the starboard side of the ship providing guests with impressive views of the ocean and ports of call as they relax in comfortable seating or stroll throughout the space.
According to Glenn Aprile, Carnival’s director of new build product development and part of the design team that developed the groundbreaking venue, the idea was to create a space that was as functional as it was eye-catching, while providing guests with that “take your breath away” moment when they first board the vessel.
“Building an atrium into the side of a cruise ship is no easy task and it was a total team effort between our new build management team, engineers, designers, and hotel and entertainment teams to create a space that is as beautiful as it is functional,” Aprile said.
During the day, Grand Central serves as a relaxing spot for guests to enjoy a coffee, drink or light fare, people watch, listen to live music, or partake in trivia contests and other leisurely pursuits. At night, Grand Central transforms into an intimate and immersive venue with a rotation of spectacular, soon-to-be-revealed experiences created just for Mardi Gras. Talented performers will interact with 16 individually controlled six- by 14-foot LED screens displaying video and special effects, as well as lasers and aerial feats to create a truly unforgettable entertainment experience.
Aprile noted that “with a ship as innovative as Mardi Gras we wanted to create a multi-functional dining and entertainment space that guests can enjoy day and night, while at the same time providing an intuitive way to get around the ship and creating a dramatic centerpiece that is worthy of our most innovative ship. Grand Central provides all that and more. We are extremely pleased with the results thus far.”
Overlooking Grand Central is the multi-level Grand View Bar which like its name implies offers guests a chance to enjoy floor-to-ceiling sea views as they sip custom-cocktails and other libations, amidst awe-inspiring design touches like a virtual waterfall on translucent panels. There’s also the Center Stage Bar on the main level. Both venues will feature specialty cocktails inspired by the theme of that evening’s entertainment.
Steps away is Java Blue, which in addition to serving coffees, cappuccinos and lattes like other Carnival ships, offers a menu of fresh bakery items, wraps, salads and other light fare throughout the day. The Cherry on Top sweets shop is also nearby for those who want to enjoy a decadent treat, as are the retail shops and casino, providing a variety of fun options for guests to enjoy.
Connecting all of these spaces are a series of spacious and airy promenades and bridges that serve as convenient thoroughfares to other areas of the ship while allowing guests to see all the other happenings on board, adding to the excitement.
Noted Aprile, “We put the engineers and designers to the test here and our teams have taken everything we’ve learned about shipbuilding and interior design to create a stunning, comfortable and functional environment that truly sets Grand Central apart from other shipboard venues. With its transformation from daytime relaxation to nighttime entertainment, Grand Central is unlike anything that’s ever been done on a cruise ship before and our guests are going to love it.”
The first North American cruise ship powered by Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), Mardi Gras is set to debut from Port Canaveral, Fla., Feb. 6, 2021, operating week-long itineraries from the Space Coast.
For additional information and reservations, contact any travel agent, call 1-800-CARNIVAL or visit carnival.com.
USVI Governor Hopeful on Recovery
(PRESS RELEASE)_U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS (Sept. 17, 2020) – Caribbean tourism is poised for a strong post-pandemic recovery, predicts U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) Governor Albert Bryan Jr., just ahead of the reopening of the Territory to leisure visitors this weekend.
“I expect the Caribbean to do even better as we open up the doors, find a new vaccine, and people start traveling again,” Governor Bryan said during last week’s three-day CHRIS+HOLA Connect virtual hotel investment conference, which combined the Caribbean Hotel & Resort Investment Summit (CHRIS) and Hotel Opportunities Latin America (HOLA).
The “Views from Heads of Government” session, which also featured Turks and Caicos Islands Premier Sharlene Cartwright-Robinson, and was moderated by Frank Comito, CEO and Director General of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association, addressed how the two island communities are coping with the global travel and tourism downturn caused by the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
Azamara Announces 2022-23 Cruises
(PRESS RELEASE)_Miami, FL (September 2020): Destination-focused cruise line, Azamara, is excited to announce the remainder of itineraries for 2022 as well as 2023 (Q1), featuring over 80 new itineraries, and more than 170 overnights and 300 late night stays. As the brand furthers its commitment to more in-depth exploration by connecting guests to a country’s local life and culture, Azamara will offer more Country-Intensive Voyages between 2022 and 2023 than ever before, allowing guests to experience iconic destinations as well as hidden gems, all within a single country.
“As the leader in Destination Immersion®, we are always enthusiastic about sharing our new deployment, this year it’s even more special as we have the opportunity to announce an extension of our Country-Intensive Voyages,” says Chief Operating Officer, Carol Cabezas. “When we were working on our itineraries for 2022/2023, our goal was to invite new and returning guests to explore places they have never visited before, or better yet, connect our guests to a country they have traveled to before, but adding in ports that are considered hidden gems to allow for a new experience, which our Country-Intensives are designed to offer.”
With over 275 ports of call in more than 70 countries, 26 of the ports will be offered in Greece, with two maiden ports: Syros, and Tinos. Azamara will also add on returning guest favorites including, Greece Country-Intensives, voyages to the Black Sea and Egypt-Israel intensive voyages. Further south, Azamara will continue another guest favorite, South Africa Intensive voyages.
Highlights of some maiden ports include:
For more information on Azamara’s 2022 & 2023 deployment, please visit this link here.
Carnival Sells Two Ships
(PRESS RELEASE)_MIAMI, Sept. 16, 2020 – Carnival Cruise Line today announced the sale of Carnival Fascination and Carnival Imagination, which had previously been put on long-term lay-up status and removed from published itineraries.
The sale of Carnival Fascination, launched in 1994, and Carnival Imagination, introduced in 1995, is in line with Carnival Corporation’s plan to accelerate the removal of less efficient ships from its fleet. This follows the sale of Carnival Fantasy and Carnival Inspiration which took place in July. Upon return to operations, Carnival will still operate four upgraded Fantasy-class ships – Carnival Ecstasy, Carnival Sensation, Carnival Elation and Carnival Paradise – which feature additional balcony staterooms as well as enhanced dining and entertainment options that are part of the line’s Fun Ship 2.0 enhancement program.
“While we are sad to see Carnival Fascination and Carnival Imagination leave our fleet, it is a necessary move as it allows us to focus on ships that offer the greatest variety of features and stateroom accommodations for our guests,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line.
Related to its ongoing ship enhancement program and the current pause in cruise operations, Carnival also advised guests and travel agents that it is delaying the return to guest operations for four ships until after scheduled dry dock enhancements are completed in the first half of 2021.
The four impacted ships and resulting cancelled itineraries include:
· Carnival Magic itineraries operating from Miami will be cancelled until Mar. 13, 2021
· Carnival Paradise itineraries operating from Tampa will be cancelled until Mar. 19, 2021
· Carnival Valor itineraries operating from New Orleans will be cancelled until Apr. 29, 2021 (including the transatlantic cruise from New Orleans on Jan. 25, 2021 and the return from Barcelona on Feb. 26, 2021)
· Carnival Spirit itineraries operating from Brisbane will be cancelled through May 16, 2021, with the first sailing being the Singapore to Brisbane voyage embarking on June 12, 2021.
“This extended pause in our operations has also impacted shipyard availability, and we’ve had to reschedule required dry docks. As we continue to work through issues related to our eventual return to operations, we are committed to providing our guests and travel agent partners with certainty where we can, although we regret disappointing our guests. We appreciate the continued support and understanding of our guests and hope to welcome them back on board soon,” Duffy said.
Holland Set to Explore Europe in 2021
(PRESS RELEASE)_Seattle, Wash., Sept. 10, 2020 — From Greenland to Greece and Iceland to Israel, five Holland America Line ships are set to explore the cultural kaleidoscope of Europe in 2021. The brand’s collection of vessels crossing the pond includes Rotterdam, which is slated to debut at the height of the summer Europe season. Joining the fleet’s new flagship will be Nieuw Statendam, Westerdam and Zuiderdam, putting two Pinnacle Class ships in the region. Zaandam heads to Europe on the popular “Voyage of the Vikings” itinerary in July.
From April through November, the five ships will offer itineraries ranging from seven to 35 days, as well as longer Collectors’ Voyages up to 29 days. In addition to transatlantic crossings between Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and Europe, the ships will visit the Baltic, British Isles, French and Spanish rivieras, Iberian Peninsula, Mediterranean and Northern Europe including Greenland, Iceland, Norway and the North Cape.
“Our guests miss cruising as much as we do, and as we move closer to getting back to doing what we do best, we want everyone to feel confident in planning their European travel with us for next summer,” said Gus Antorcha, Holland America Line’s president. “At Holland America Line, we are a community of passionate globetrotters. For anyone looking to go to Europe next summer and really connect with a variety of cultures, Holland America Line has put together the most diverse collection of itineraries that embraces the entire region.”
Departure options include Amsterdam, the Netherlands; Athens (Piraeus), Greece; Barcelona, Spain; and Civitavecchia (Rome) and Venice, Italy. The “Voyage of the Vikings” cruise sails roundtrip from Boston, Massachusetts, with a segment departure from Rotterdam, the Netherlands.
To give guests more in-depth experiences in some of Europe’s most popular cities, select cruises feature overnight calls at Istanbul, Turkey; Reykjavik, Iceland; Piraeus (Athens) and Rhodes, Greece; Rotterdam, the Netherlands; St. Petersburg, Russia; Valletta, Malta; and Venice, Italy.
Many of the cruises can be extended into Collectors’ Voyages ranging from 14 to 29 days, offering the ultimate European exploration. These artfully crafted longer journeys combine nonrepeating, back-to-back itineraries, enabling guests to visit more ports and spend extra time discovering centuries of art, history and culture.
American Queen Sets 2021 Season
(PRESS RELEASE)_NEW ALBANY, Ind., September 10, 2020 – American Queen Steamboat Company (AQSC), a Hornblower® Family Company and leading U.S.-flagged river cruise operator, continues to chart interesting and unique routes on America’s rivers, inviting guests to explore the history and beauty of the country with itineraries for 2021.
For 2021, AQSC will call on the glass canyons of Chicago as well as feature routes from Nashville to Memphis and Louisville to St. Louis. Offering itineraries from January through December of each calendar year, AQSC continues to create a diverse selection of itineraries for guests to select from.
From the royal grandeur of the American Queen, America’s only steam-powered paddlewheel riverboat, to the contemporary charm of the newest paddlewheeler to join the fleet, the American Countess, AQSC has maintained its high level of service, entertainment and dining while incorporating new health and safety measures. New protocols developed through an ongoing partnership with Ochsner Health, Louisiana’s leading healthcare provider, are designed to help guests feel safe and confident when booking their 2021 travel.
“Rivers truly are the heart of America. As travel recovers in 2021, we are excited to offer these routes along American rivers so our guests can discover the beauty and heritage of our own back yard,” said John Waggoner, founder and CEO of American Queen Steamboat Company. “The wellbeing of our guests, crew and partners is, and always will be, our top priority and we are constantly working to reassess our health and safety protocols with the help of the experts at Ochsner Health to ensure our guests experience the high level of service that we have become known for at AQSC.”
Unique itineraries offered in 2021 include:
Nine-Day Memphis, TN to Nashville, TN (Clarksville) (or reverse)
American Duchess: April 4, December 5, 12
From the historic blues of Memphis to the boot stomping sounds of Nashville, this immersive itinerary is perfect for music and arts lovers. Between the cities, guests will discover fascinating small towns including Paducah, Kentucky, a UNESCO Creative City and home to the National Quilt Museum, which offers mesmerizing patterns and astounding artworks. Ports of call include a pre-cruise hotel stay in Memphis; Ashport Landing, TN; New Madrid, MO; Cape Girardeau, MO; Paducah, KY; Dover, TN; and Nashville (Clarksville).
Nine-Day Louisville, KY to St. Louis, MO (Alton)
American Duchess: May 2, July 4, Sept. 26 | American Queen: July 11
From the birthplace of bourbon to the tableaus of rolling farmland, American lore is deeply embedded into this Heartland cruise. Kentucky’s small towns charm all who visit, with the front porch pickin’ in Owensboro, Kentucky and the birthplace of Abraham Lincoln near Brandenburg, Kentucky, the Americana culture of the Bluegrass State is wonderous. Ports of call include a pre-cruise hotel stay in Louisville; Brandenburg, KY; Owensboro, KY; Henderson, KY; Paducah, KY; Cape Girardeau, MO and St. Louis (Alton).
Nine-Day Chicago, IL (Ottawa) to St. Louis, MO (Alton) on the American Countess: Sept. 25
Guests will explore the legacy of President Abraham Lincoln and the deep-rooted traditions of America’s Heartland on this itinerary aboard the contemporary American Countess. From the glass canyons of Chicago to the historic town of Hannibal, MO, home of the Mark Twain Boyhood Home and Museum where guests can see first-hand the inspiration for Tom Sawyer, down to the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, the stories of the river will come to life. Ports of call include a pre-cruise stay in Chicago; Ottawa, IL; Peoria, IL; Havana, IL; Hannibal, MO and St. Louis.
For more information on AQSC’s enhanced health and safety policies, please visit: www.americanqueensteamboatcompany.com/health-and-safety-protocols.
For additional information and reservations, please contact American Queen Steamboat Company at 888-749-5289, visit www.americanqueensteamboatcompany.com or call a professional travel agent.
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